Mature trainees' perceptions of the process of their family therapy training.
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Sheehan, J., Delahunty, A., McMahon, A., & Hodgins, M. (2004). Mature trainees' perceptions of the process of their family therapy training. Human Systems, 15(4), 288-299.
Studies on Family Therapy Training generally focus on the outcome of training rather than the process of learning. This study employed a qualitative methodology to explore experienced trainees' perceptions of skill acquisition and development over the course of a two-year part time systemic family therapy programme and one year later. Participants were 15 M.Sc. in Psychotherapy trainees, all of whom had at least one qualification in the health or social sciences and all of whom worked is the health or personal services. Trainees were asked to supply comments an the process of training at five time periods: mid way through the first year, end of year 1, raid year 2, end year 2 and one year after completion of the course. Analysis revealed three main categories, one for each year, each with sub-themes. A key finding was that for these experienced therapists, there is clearly a process of de-skilling and re-skilling and de-thinking and re-thinking. It is evident that they actively consider the course material and do not adapt new ideas uncritically. The study demonstrates the utility of taking a qualitative approach to explore the process of training from the therapists' perspective.